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8 Alarms Bring 80 FD’s in Wisconsin

A True Test of the Incident Command System

A MASSIVE FIRE IS UNDERWAY IN Burlington, Wisconsin, this morning at a food processing plant.  The fire began just after 6 pm Wednesday evening at the Echo Lake Farms Produce Company, a 70,000 sq. ft. plant that processes egg products, and has reportedly brought units from about 80 fire departments to the scene.


The Chicago Tribune is telling us:

The fire broke out about 6:05 p.m., according to City Administrator Kevin Lahner.  "As of right now, we have departments from Racine, to Milwaukee and Waukesha and Kenosha counties, and some from Northern Illinois," Lahner said.

The factory processes egg products, Lahner said. There is some "ammonia present" but it’s not a concern at the moment, Lahner said, and a hazardous materials team from Racine is monitoring air quality around the site.

At 5:30 am Central, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reported that the fire is still ongoing and that it appears the plant will be a total loss.  City officials have already met with Echo Lakes Farms officers and assured them that the city will assist in any way that they can to rebuild the plant which is one of the city's largest employers with 300 workers.

The building has been added onto several times over the years and the interior has been described as a "honeycomb," making it difficult for the firefighters to reach the various fires.

WISN-TV has some good video of the fire HERE.

UPDATE, Saturday am:  The fire eventually escalated to 13 alarms bringing units from 92 departments.  See our updated report that includes the run card, more video, and more details HERE.

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